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You don’t need me to tell you what to teach your kids about guns: how they work, what they can do, how to handle them, etc. It’s all common sense, standard safety sort of stuff, really. But there’s one lesson that even the most firearm-alert families tend to forget to tell their kids, a lesson highlighted by one of the victim’s mothers at yesterday’s sentencing of California rapist and murderer John Gardner . . .

Carrie McGonigle said John Gardner, 31, told her in a jailhouse meeting ahead of his sentencing that her daughter, 14-year-old Amber DuBois, had nowhere to run when he pulled up beside her as she walked to school on Feb. 13, 2009. He “told her to get in the car or it would be a lot worse for her,” McGonigle told “Good Morning America” today. “She had nowhere to go. She was stuck.”

Apparently, Gardener was “trapping her on a fenced street and threatening her with a knife and gun.”

As the father/step-father to four girls, I’ve instructed all of them on one simple point: NEVER let someone force you into a car. It doesn’t matter if they have a knife, handgun, rifle or bazooka. If they win, you’re dead. Make your stand outside the car. Bite, kick, scream, attack, and then run. It’s better to be stabbed or shot at the curb than to risk what comes next.

I highly recommend you give your children this same message. Their life may depend on it.

It must also be said: in that kind of violent situation, familiarity with guns is a plus. if your child knows muzzle discipline, they’ll know instinctively to avoid the business end of an attacker’s weapon. Note to the NRA: I’d like to see Eddy the Eagle get his claws around that one.

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